Although this announcement only establishes what was already rumored and assumed, developers that plan to embark on long-term projects can now be rest assured that the Qt will be an integral part in the Maemo, the software platform developed by Nokia for smartphones and internet-tablets.
Maemo is mostly based on open source code, and has been developed by Maemo Devices within Nokia in collaboration with many open source projects such as the Linux kernel, Debian, and GNOME. Maemo is based on Debian Linux, and its UI is similar to many handheld interfaces; it features a "Home" screen, which acts as a central point from which all applications and settings are accessed. The Home Screen is divided into areas for launching applications, a menu bar, and a large customizable area that can display information such as an RSS reader, internet radio player, and Google search box.
The Qt port to Maemo 5 is designed specifically to work within the Maemo 5 environment, which will power the Nokia N900 device and other future devices. The port itself will be based on Qt’s upcoming version 4.6 and is scheduled for final release during the first three months of 2010. Meanwhile, users can get an impression of whta it will look like on the Nokia N900 in this YouTube video.
The significance of this integration is that both users and developers could enhance their devices, allowing further customization than possible before through self-made adjustments to applications and the environment. Moreover, in comparison to other manufacturers, Nokia’s choice to encourage open-source programming might improve their popularity.
Sebastian Nyström, Vice President of Application Services and Frameworks at Nokia, has addressed the benefits Nokia brings to developers. "With this announcement and our upcoming port of Qt to the Symbian platform, we will quickly see Qt established as a leading framework for mobile application development,” he said. “Developers will be able to use Qt as a framework to create powerful native applications and with Qt’s Webkit integration; it also provides them with a platform for creating web applications and services. Qt’s support for Maemo 5, Maemo 6, Symbian, as well as Windows Mobile makes Qt the most sensible choice for developers looking to target multiple devices and achieve the broadest reach with their innovations."
TFOT covered the Nokia N97, showcased by the company for the first time at CES 2009, and the Nokia Eco Sensor Concept, which is a ”green” mobile phone designed to enhance our awareness both of the environment and of ourselves.
For more information about the integration of Qt in Maemo 5, see Nokia’s press release.